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Custom Learning from an App

Article Source: Campus Technology at https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/21/building-an-app-store-for-learning-tools.aspx?admgarea=News

 

Gone are the days where the teachers or professors stand in front of a large class and lecture for hours on end. Gone are pencils and pens and replaced with all new high tech tablets and small computers. While many look at how to improve the students’ learning by giving more and more new tech, the University of North Carolina (UNC) has a different approach. They want to focus at the core issue, how to teach.

Why make it a cookie cutter design to learning for faculty when students want and need custom learning? UNC developed a custom-made app store for their faculty members called “Learning Technology Commons”. The idea behind this is to help give and promote innovation via custom education. Matthew Rascoff, one of the creators of this idea states “the enterprise model of a single system adopted by a campus and imposed on educators is the wrong way to think about supporting it in scale.” AKA, what is in place now doesn’t work. He also states that technology moves at a fast past where everything that is current can become obsolete the next day. This is very true, look at any of the new smartphones or computers that came out last year and compare them to today. Two or more years ago, are considered old technology. His idea is to make education the same way. Have faculty use this app store to up vote ideas that have been tested and work in the classroom and bring in that custom education aspect, and to change and develop new ideas at the same time. An example of this could be one professor might need help explaining a difficult principle of chemistry and find someone who has a better way to explain it but also has pre-made learning tools that can help the students succeed.

To learn more about this please visit the main article on Campus Technology.

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How VR Can Change Your Education

Article Source: EdTech Magazine – http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/11/how-virtual-reality-could-change-way-students-experience-education

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Image Source: http://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality-military/

Virtual Reality (VR) continues to grow in popularity as finances start to hinder students’ abilities to travel and practice medicine in real world applications. The world has seen a rise of educational software that help elders retain memory, pilots fly planes, and hikers to virtually climb the most dangerous mountains. The real reason why Virtual reality is a booming industry is because of its classroom applications and the way it allows them to learn. Through hands on experience, students can avoid the risk of destroying expensive equipment or wasting time traveling hundreds of miles away to study their subject.

One such example of VR technology so far through the anthropology major has allowed students to travel as far as China to inspect the Great Wall of China. Students in other fields would also be able to explore the great reefs or watch evidence bleaching up close. These are some minor applications of VR that give students the ability to travel without spending large amounts of money or watching delicate procedures.

VR’s sole purpose isn’t meant to travel but also to teach. You might be able to explore other cultures from the comfort of your own classroom but institutions hope to teach students critical thinking through these devices. Metacognition, for example, would allow students to grasp a better understanding of their research and really reflect on the work they have just done. Needless to say, VR technology has only just begun to have an impact on the educational world and the options for furthering education are becoming limitless. Students may even experience what it’s like

For more information on this topic, click here.

6 Dimensions of Effective Online Video Presentation

Article Source: Campus Technology at https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/07/6-dimensions-for-more-effective-online-instructional-videos.aspx#

 

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Image Source: http://samn.co/tips-for-giving-your-first-demo/

Understanding how to make a good online video presentations can sometimes be daunting and even the best effort can sometimes fall short. To streamline this process, here are 6 quick tips to help you create better video presentations online from an article from CampusTechnology.com

1. Sound – The first thing you need for a successful online video presentation is a good script. Cut down on confusing words or sentences and stay away from words like “um” or “so”. The first take won’t always be perfect so try multiple recordings until you sound confident and professional.

2. Visuals – Videos that constantly zoom in and out can sometimes detract from the viewer’s experience especially when you’re trying to explain a concept. The best way to work around this issue is to put the concept on a full page while you start talking about it in your video.

3. Applications – Applications are a little more difficult due to the fact that you can’t teach someone everything they need to know about the program in one video. There are two approaches to teaching someone about a program. The first approach is to give a general overview of the program. The second approach is to go in depth on specific features without trying to teach them all at once.

4. Framing – The general outline of the video, also known as “framing”, consists of three steps:

  •  Tell them what you’re going to tell them
  • Tell them
  • Tell them what you told them

Viewers aren’t looking for a structured lecture like they would get at school. All they really want is the information as fast as they can get it so the more straightforward you make your video presentation, the better.

5. Personality – There’s a fine balance between appearing too introverted, and appearing too extroverted in your video. As the instructor, you need to find this middle ground that shows your passion for the subject, but allows you to recite the information in a professional manner. When searching for the sweet spot, take into account your who your audience is and the subject matter you are teaching.

6. Balance – The final dimension of video presentation is balance. Will the video you created meet the criteria for what you want to teach and is the material serious enough to be taught in the first place?

Creating an online presentation video can be difficult but if you follow these 6 dimensions, you will find yourself creating a great educational video. Just remember to balance each dimension in order to find the sweet spot because going to far in either direction can sometimes have the opposite result.

Technology Can Help Expand Creativity

The next generation of college students, Generation Z, has had technology as part of their life since birth. It should come to no surprise that 93 percent of students in an Adobe Education survey said that technology in the classroom was essential for their career preparedness. Eighty-nine percent also believe that creativity will also be a big part of their success. Colleges are already preparing for the needs of Gen Z students with programs that combine creativity and technology. Technology in higher education can help expand creativity in higher education and one way is helping designers innovate through engineering.

Staff from Parsons School of Design has already started reaching out to show how technology can help with problem solving in art and design. Noelia Bautista made a music box that could communicate with a computer using the Arduino open-course computing platform, which in turn inspired her to study to be an interior designer. She said that by engaging in the iterative design process, as well as user testing, sketching, and prototyping, she was able to cultivate the skills needed to tackle a wide range of design challenges. Tech-filled spaces also encourage new ideas and collaboration. Clemson University works on a partnership with Adobe to open a digital studio in their library to create a teaching, training and collaborative environment. Adobe even gives access to students to the Adobe Digital Studio, which gives an open access earning space on the Creative Cloud to ensure that students get the best digital tools needed to succeed.

Technology creates an entirely new Artistic experience. Rochester Institute of Technology announced the launch of their MAGIC Spell Studios which is a new building dedicated to supporting game development, film and animation and other digital media. The ways that people engage with games and interactive content is rapidly changing and the industry is more multi-faceted than ever. The school of interactive games and media will challenge students to build into new horizons that expand into the ever changing industry.

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A Personal Assistant for Students

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“It’s not due yet. I still have time!” Says the majority of students on any college campus. That procrastination has really made students suffer by adding more stress to their lives as well as lower quality of work. Luckily there is a solution in the making. Avi Badwal and Chris Wessells have teamed up to help create “Insight” a mobile app. This app is a personal assistant app but with a twist. This app is targeted to help students succeed in the rigorous environment of college. The app claims to do this by tracking students personal schedules but also syncs to the school’s database and has a small artificial intelligence (A.I.) unit built in. Wessells states “Generic personal assistants aren’t very effective for our students, because they are not tied in with our Student Information System or our Constituent Relationship Management System. To do something more powerful, we connect Insight with those two systems.” The A.I. unit is used to give the student more targeted and personalized services based on their individual needs. The student would create a profile and set in what classes they are taking and what study habits they use. They can track class rosters, details, locations and instructors. The app can also show semester analytics such as how the student spends their time during the semester and gives feedback on academic performance based on the grade report.

With 100,000 completed tasks in the first year, the app is becoming the next best way for students to succeed in school. The app has features such as time tracker for personal and academic tasks, checking assignments, responses to notifications and an emotion tracker to help monitor stress levels throughout the quarter.

While the app is only for University of San Diego students using iOS, this app may be coming to all major campuses soon.

To learn more about this technology visit the main article here.